Why take the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam?

In order to receive the National Certification Corporation (NCC) Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential (RNC-OB), candidates must take and receive adequate passing scores on the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential examination. If you are a Registered Nurse (RN) who specializes in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing, then earning the RNC-OB credential is the best professional path for you. The RNC-OB credential will demonstrate to your employers and peers that you understand, incorporate, and implement the knowledge and skills necessary to be exemplary in the field of Inpatient Obstetric Nursing. The NCC offers the RNC-OB credential so nurses like you are able to demonstrate their knowledge publicly and be recognized for the knowledge and skills they possess. In short, the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam will lead you to the pinnacle of credentials in your chosen specialty and demonstrate dedication to your profession.


To apply to take the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam for the RNC-OB credential, you must hold current Registered Nurse (RN) licensure in a territory or state of the United States or Canada. Additionally, you must have 24 months in the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing specialty, which must be comprised of 2,000 hours minimum of education, direct patient care, research, or administration in the specialty. Your employment in the specialty of Inpatient Obstetric Nursing must have occurred within the past 24 months, and both the hours mentioned above and the employment requirement must be met before you can apply to take the exam and earn your RNC-OB credential.

Exam Content and Structure

For an individual, the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential exam must be taken electronically, as the individual paper option has been discontinued. You can apply to take the electronically administered Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential exam on the NCC website. The Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential exam is 3 hours in length and there are no breaks. So, be prepared to sit and take the exam during the 3-hour timeframe. In terms of structure and content, the exam is organized into 7 different sections with 175 total questions. Each section addresses specific topics and is weighted differently. Pay attention to the weights for each section, but do not be fooled! Each section, despite its weight, plays an important role in achieving the scores necessary to earn your RNC-OB credential. The topics and weights for each section are as follows:

  1. The first section is comprised of questions related to maternal factors that affect the fetus and newborn child. This section is weighted at 14% and will address the topics of disease processes and pregnancy risks.
  2. The next section is designed to determine your assessment of the fetal condition. This section is weighted at 20% and consists of questions related to antepartum assessment, electronic and non-electronic monitoring of the fetus, and assessment of acid-base statuses.
  3. The next section of the exam is focused on the labor and delivery process and is weighted at 29%. This section will contain questions related to labor physiology; stages, assessment, and management of labor; obstetric procedures; and pain management in the labor and delivery process.
  4. The fourth section of the exam addresses obstetric complications, including placental and labor disorders, labor in preterm, multiple gestations, and pregnancies that have been prolonged. This section is weighted at 20%.
  5. The fifth section of the exam assesses your knowledge of postpartum situations, including the physiology of the postpartum woman, adaptation of the family, lactation, and postpartum complications. This section is weighted at 10%.
  6. The next section is designed to assess your knowledge of the newborn. This section is weighted at 5% and covers questions related to newborn adaptation to life outside the uterus, resuscitation, pathophysiology, and infant nutritional needs.
  7. The final section of the exam is weighted at 2% and covers professional issues related to evidence-based practice, legal and ethical concerns, communication issues, patient safety, and research in the field.

Test Preparation

Possessing a firm understanding of the content and structure of the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential exam is the first step toward earning your RNC-OB credential. Getting adequate rest before the exam and taking care of yourself physically will also help you feel prepared and ready for success on exam day. However, the best method of ensuring you do well on the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam is to prepare using the best preparation materials you can find. Sure, you can search the internet and find bits and pieces of the exam on several websites. But, what if you could find everything you need in one place?

In addition to the basic exam materials you can find on the NCC website, Mometrix Test Preparation offers a comprehensive Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam guide: Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Exam Secrets. This guide is unlike the others in that you get actual Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam questions that help you reach the high scores you are capable of reaching. The Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Exam Secrets guide was written by exam experts who understand how to successfully pass the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam and earn your RNC-OB credential. Mometrix Test Preparation’s standardized test researchers have discovered the secrets of the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam and are able to impart to you exactly how to reduce your stress, beat the exam, and demonstrate to the world your dedication to Inpatient Obstetric Nursing by earning your RNC-OB credential.

In addition to the Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Exam Secrets study guide, Mometrix also provides test-takers like you the Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Exam Flashcard Study System and a comprehensive Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Practice Test online. Earn the best scores you can earn on the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing credential exam by adequately preparing, rigorously studying, and testing yourself with actual Inpatient Obstetric Nursing exam content. Read the Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Exam Secrets study guide, test your knowledge with the Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Exam Flashcard Study System and Practice Test, and earn the RNC-OB credential you deserve as a leader in the specialty field of Inpatient Obstetric Nursing.

Inpatient Obstetric Nurse Practice Test

Free Inpatient Obstetric Practice Test

1. The greatest risk of herpes simplex virus (HSV) transmission to a newborn who is delivered vaginally occurs with:

a. an active recurrent (secondary) HSV outbreak at the time of delivery.
b. a history of a primary HSV outbreak early in pregnancy without active disease at the time of delivery.
c. an active primary HSV outbreak at the time of delivery.

2. The parameter of fetal heart monitoring that is most predictive of fetal compromise is:

a. baseline fetal tachycardia.
b. minimal or absent fetal heart rate variability.
c. variable decelerations.

3. Women who experience precipitous labor are at increased risk for:

a. perineal lacerations.
b. preeclampsia.
c. urinary retention.

4. An Rh-negative mother delivers an Rh-positive infant, and alloimmunization (production of Rh antibodies in the mother) occurs. In this case, the risk of hemolytic disease is greatest in:

a. subsequent Rh-negative fetuses.
b. the current Rh-positive infant.
c. subsequent Rh-positive fetuses.

5. A patient at 34 weeks' gestation in a low-risk pregnancy who reports decreased fetal movement over the preceding hour should be instructed to:

a. report to her primary medical provider for immediate assessment.
b. have something to eat or drink, lie on her left side, and count fetal movements over the next 1-2 hours.
c. increase her physical activity.

Answers and Explanation

1. C: The greatest risk to the newborn infant occurs with a vaginal delivery during a primary genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. Infection most commonly occurs by direct transmission, rather than across the placenta. The risk of transmission during vaginal delivery with an active primary infection is approximately 50%. Neonates with symptomatic HSV infection are often critically ill and may suffer chronic complications as a result of the neonatal infection. Risk of transmission to the infant with vaginal delivery during an active secondary HSV infection drops significantly to less than 5%. Cesarean section is recommended for women with signs of an active primary or secondary genital HSV outbreak around the time of delivery. Transmission is low in patients with a history of genital HSV infection who have no signs or symptoms of an active outbreak around the time of delivery.

2. B: Fetal heart rate variability reflects the interplay between cardiac responsiveness and the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Baseline fetal heart variability refers to the degree of fluctuation in the fetal heart rate around the baseline. An amplitude of 6-25 beats/min in fetal heart rate variability (moderate variability) is considered normal. Decreased fetal heart rate variability is the best predictor of fetal compromise. Causes of decreased fetal heart rate variability include hypoxia, acidosis, gestational age under 32 weeks, fetal anomalies, central nervous system depressant medications, fetal tachycardia, and preexisting fetal neurologic abnormalities. Marked fetal heart rate variability of more than 25 beats/min amplitude (saltatory variability) is usually caused by early hypoxia, as occurs with umbilical cord compression, and is considered a nonreassuring pattern.

3. A: Precipitous labor is defined as labor that leads to delivery of the infant in less than 3 hours. A major predictive factor for precipitous labor is a history of previous precipitous labor. Precipitous labor may be anticipated if there is rapid cervical dilation, rapid fetal descent, or intense, frequent uterine contractions. Maternal risks with precipitous labor include cervical, vaginal, and perineal injury; postpartum hemorrhage as a result of both lacerations and uterine atony; and unaccompanied precipitous delivery. Fetal risks include hypoxia secondary to uterine hypertonicity and brachial plexus injury as a result of rapid descent and delivery. Precipitous labor in the group B Streptococcus-positive patient may not allow adequate time for administration of prophylactic antibiotics.

4. C: When an Rh-negative patient is pregnant with an Rh-positive fetus, any maternal exposure to fetal Rh-positive blood (e.g., spontaneous or therapeutic abortion, antepartum hemorrhage, delivery) can lead to sensitization or production of Rh antibodies in the maternal circulation. When maternal exposure (and sensitization) to fetal blood occurs at the time of delivery, the first Rh-positive infant is not affected. Subsequent Rh-positive fetuses in the sensitized Rh-negative mother are affected (often severely) by the hemolysis that occurs when maternal Rh antibodies cross the placenta and destroy fetal red blood cells. Rh-negative fetuses are not affected as their blood cells do not have Rh antigen. Rh-negative pregnant patients (who have not been sensitized) are given Rhogam (Rh immune globulin) to prevent sensitization when there is a reasonable likelihood of maternal exposure to Rh-positive fetal blood.

5. B: Decreased fetal movement has been associated with fetal distress and death. There is no established standard for a normal number of fetal movements in a given time period. As a general rule, four fetal movements in 1 hour or ten fetal movements in 2 hours is considered reassuring. Patterns of fetal movement are dependent on multiple factors, including time of day, location of the placenta, maternal medications, and the fetal sleep cycle. Low-risk patients reporting decreased fetal movement of less than 2-3 hours duration can be instructed to count fetal movements and inform the health care provider if there are less than ten movements in 2 hours (after 32-34 weeks' gestation). It has not been definitively demonstrated that prompt evaluation of decreased fetal movement results in improved fetal outcomes.


Last Updated: 06/04/2018

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